Sneakers instead of high heels, big nerdy glasses paired with elegant Indian dresses, books held in hand on the runway. This is the RE-EMERGENCE of fashion and I can’t wait for it to completely metamorphose the fashion industry. The entire fashion industry needs an unfamiliar and exotic makeover, that can take the entire world by storm.
You may have noticed the minor changes where girls wear sneakers with mini dresses and have shirts tied around their waist over feminine outfits. It is the transgression of certain rules that were never actually written down. So in this new age of the perfect imperfections, who has actually noticed the major changes? We have models who suffer from conditions such as vitiligo, albinism and downs syndrome and then there are also amputees walking proudly down the runway.
I realised this while watching the latest season of America’s Next Top Models when I saw the same model who was on a Diesel poster; and suffered from vitiligo. I love how Diesel is proving a point with its Spring/Summer 2015 campaign, promoting ‘tolerance, equality and unconditional love’. Winnie Harlow (also known as Chantelle) has an exotic face. Unfortunately, she was labeled a ‘zebra’ and ‘cow’ at a young age. However, she now calls herself the vitiligo spokesmodel.
Shaun Ross was the first male albino model. He was represented by a modeling agency at the tender age of 16. Later, he was also seen in several short films and music videos of Katy Perry and Beyoncé. Thando Hopa, a South-African was first taught to embrace herself as an albino model by the designer, Gert-Johan Coetzee. According to her – “I eventually decided beauty is a decision and I am going to be beautiful despite what people say. My tagline is ‘a different shade of normal’”. She uses modeling as a platform to reach out to those who suffer from the same condition as her.
Rick Genest is a Canadian artist, actor and model. He doesn’t have any skin condition or disorder. Then what makes him different? There are corpse tattoos covering his entire body, giving him the name ‘Zombie Boy’. He considers himself to be a living skeleton (hence, the tattoos). He was discovered by Lady Gaga’s fashion director Nicola Formichetti. Genest has been featured in Thierry Mugler’s fashion shows and as the face of the Jay-Z music fashion label Roc-A-Wear. He has also been an inspiration to many designers for their work.
I absolutely love seeing how we are breaking free from the clichéd world and are celebrating these perfect imperfections in several ways. It’s no longer about the perfect sun-kissed skin or the pastel dresses with elegant make up. It’s about fashion as an art, an attraction and with a cause. The spotlight is now on realism rather than on the fantastical.